WNYLRC has a place for all in its membership to participate in this, a member organization. We have committees representing all facets of WNYLRC activities from those which focus on continuing training to the guidance of what might be needed by the membership in the future, from pilot projects to site visits to off-site visits. However, there might exist a misconception that membership on these committees is for the professional library staff and administration only. In fact, this is such a misconception that an entire committee is dedicated to the needs, wants and good works of the entire staff of a library, hence the WNY Library Assistants Committee. Though this committee is not officially as old as some of the other WNYLRC committees, its members have been helping as a task group for years. Many a Continuing Education workshop and conference would not have been pulled off as smoothly without its input. Now, however, this committee is an “official” standing committee and, among its many purposes, it aims” to promote communication and access to development opportunities among library assistants in the six county Western New York area and serve as a clearinghouse for relevant information.” That it has done with both serious, educational intent and, more importantly, fun!
Over these last years, the Library Assistants Committee has hosted workshops intended to augment training that would enhance the work experience as well as the personal life of anyone in attendance: from Book Repair to New Google Applications to Using Your Strengths as a Library Assistant, these sessions were targeted and overwhelmingly well-received. Who can fault learning more? The real linch-pin of this committee, though, is its creation of the GTKY–the Getting to Know You events. These are excursions to member libraries of places of interest open to all and which, to hear the after-reports, are nothing if not informative and enjoyable but often are filled with activities that are the envy of all the other committees. Many times themed baskets are seen being loaded into cars for raffle at the GTKY destination. Prizes and snacks and camaraderie are tell-tale signs that a Library Assistants Committee event is taking place.
There are legions of library assistants and support staff in our membership who have much to contribute and have a need to share their expertise and benefit from each other and there are openings on this committee and they are so welcoming. If you know of anyone on your staff that might embrace this opportunity, have them contact the Chair of the committee, Rita Ferri or Pat Klaybor, WNYLRC liaison to the committee.